Diana Beuchert is always talking about horses and speaking lovingly to them as she cares for them and gets them ready to do their job. She now dedicates her life and livelihood to her nine carriage horses that are trained to pull carriages of people at special events, such as weddings, birthdays and funerals. As the owner of Diana’s Horse Carriages, based in Mount Airy, Maryland, Beuchert says she has been “horse crazy since birth.”
How did Diana Beuchert get started with horses?
Beuchert began taking riding lessons on tiny ponies at a horse center in Potomac at age 6 and received her first horse as a Christmas gift when she was 9 years old. She grew up participating in 4-H youth programs and often accompanied her two sisters who rode horses together and competed at horse shows. Beuchert’s close connection with horses lasted until she finished high school. After high school, Beuchert concentrated on college and got married. At that time, Beuchert stopped riding horses and worked as a veterinary technician for 15 years. After having a baby, Beuchert got divorced.
Soon thereafter, Beuchert met a man who would become her second husband. He owned a large farm in Mount Airy, with horses that ran freely through the farm’s open fields. After Beuchert married her second husband, she became reenergized with her love of horses and jump-started her participation in horse shows, which had not been a part of her life since her youth.
“[Growing up,] I was riding and competing a lot. My sisters and I won ribbons. [After I met my second husband] I got back into horses, training, showing [participating in horse shows], winning awards and giving riding lessons at the farm,” Beuchert explains.
Offering Bharaat horses for Indian weddings
Though her business, Diana’s Horse Carriages, didn’t become official until 2008, Beuchert began testing the waters with a unique horse service that came about unexpectedly after she received a call out of the blue. Around 2002, an Indian man called Beuchert, asking if she had a white horse that was available for a wedding. He explained he needed it for the groom to ride as he arrived at his wedding.
“I researched [white horses for Indian weddings] and found a woman who rented things for [different cultures] and borrowed a costume for the weekend. [Later on] I found a costume in India and she shipped it to me,” explains Beuchert when asked how she prepared to provide a service she had never heard of. Soon after, the man signed a contract and Beuchert provided the service. Based on this initial experience, Beuchert learned that it is an Indian tradition to use a Ghodi, or white horse, to transport the groom to the wedding venue. The procession is known as the Baraat and the Ghodi is also referred to as a Baraat horse.
“It is very popular in India and South Asia. The groom rides an elephant or a white horse as a sign of purity before [he] gets married,” explains Beuchert. After that one successful wedding, Beuchert began providing Baraat horses at more Indian weddings, wearing traditional red and gold attire to accompany her similarly attired horses. She provided this unique service exclusively for nearly 12 years.
Later, Beuchert was at a South Asian wedding in Baltimore with her white Andalusian horse. A wedding coordinator happened to mention to Beuchert that she would make more money if she started offering carriage services. Beuchert loved the idea and bought a carriage. Right around this time, Beuchert moved away from her previous horse riding, horse show participation and instruction at the farm to a full-scale business dedicated to the service of horse-drawn carriages.
Creating “Diana’s Horse Carriages”
Since about 2014, Beuchert has continued her horse-loving life mission by focusing primarily on the service of horse-drawn carriages for many types of formal events, both festive and somber, though she also continues to offer her Baraat horses for South Asian weddings.
Beuchert purchased a vis-à-vis carriage (in which riders face each other) in rough shape and fully restored it. Inspired by Cinderella’s famous round carriage, Beuchert — who has done work as a metal artist — designed the top of her carriage to look like a pumpkin with intricate patterned swirls and recruited a welder to do the construction. The result became her most popular carriage to date, which does double duty as the Cinderella carriage and a vis-à-vis carriage .
Beuchert prides herself in decorating her carriages in fancy décor to match the type of event where the horses are needed and also adorns the horses with large, colorful plumes. Each time a customer requests the service of one of her carriages, Beuchert sends a driver along with a handler, which is referred to as a header. The header assists the driver by acting as a security guard of sorts, ensuring the safety of the horse and working with guests to accommodate friendly conversations and pictures with the horse.
Diana’s Horse Carriages provides horse-drawn carriages for special occasions, including weddings, birthdays, quinceañera and anniversary parties, holiday events and funerals. Her carriages come in many styles: Cinderella, White Victoria, Black Victoria, Limousine and Golden Funeral. She also offers green and red sleighs for holiday events. The company services events throughout the D.C. metropolitan area, as well as Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In fun news, pop star Taylor Swift selected two of Beuchert’s horses to appear in her video for “Blank Spaces.” True story!
For more information about Diana’s Horse Carriages, please visit: dianashorsecarriages.com. To see pictures and videos of the horses in action, please visit: facebook.com/DianasWeddingHorses.